ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2013, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (9): 1004-1014.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01004

• 论文 • 上一篇    下一篇



  1.  (1浙江理工大学心理系, 杭州 310018) (2北京师范大学认知神经科学与学习国家重点实验室, 北京 100875) (3深圳大学情绪与社会认知科学研究所,深圳 518060)
  • 收稿日期:2012-10-29 发布日期:2013-09-25 出版日期:2013-09-25
  • 通讯作者: 刘超;罗跃嘉
  • 基金资助:

    国家自然科学基金重大研究计划培育项目(91132704)、国家973计划项目(2011CB711000, 2013CB837300)、国家社科基金重大项目(12&ZD228)、国家自然科学基金面上项目(31170971)、国家自然科学基金重大国际合作项目(61210010)资助。

Exciting the Right Temporo-Parietal Junction with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Influences Moral Intention Processing

GAN Tian;LI Wanqing;TANG Honghong;LU Xiaping;LI Xiaoli;LIU Chao;LUO Yuejia   

  1. (1 Department of Psychology, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou, 310018, China) (2 State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neurosciences and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China) (3Institute of Affective and Social Neuroscience, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China)
  • Received:2012-10-29 Online:2013-09-25 Published:2013-09-25
  • Contact: LIU Chao;LUO Yuejia

摘要: 对行为意图的理解是人类进行道德判断的重要依据, 大量研究表明, 右侧颞顶联合区是意图加工的关键脑区。为考察该脑区在道德判断中的重要作用, 采用经颅直流电刺激技术阳极刺激右侧颞顶联合区, 探讨促进该脑区的活动对被试在道德判断中意图及相关信息加工的影响。结果发现与假刺激条件相比, 阳极刺激后道德判断反应时显著延长, 在伤人未遂和意外伤人条件下差异显著, 证明促进右侧颞顶联合区的激活能影响道德判断中的意图加工, 尤其在意图与结果产生冲突的条件下效应更加显著。

关键词: 道德判断, 意图, 结果, 右侧颞顶联合区, 经颅直流电刺激

Abstract: When we evaluate the moral status of an action, we consider not only its consequences but also the beliefs and intentions of the actor, which relies on the capacity to infer others' mental states. Functional MRI studies showed that the right temporo-parietal junction (RTPJ) is the critical brain region for understanding others' mental states. Previous studies have found that the role of intention processing in moral judgment was reduced by disrupting the RTPJ with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). In the current study, we enhanced the role of intention processing in moral judgment with the transcranial direct current sitmulation (tDCS), a painless, non-invasive brain stimulation technique that allows us to induce polarity-specific excitability changes in the human brain. Many tDCS studies have confirmed the anodal excitation effect for cognitive functions. However, so far, limited work has been done to explore the tDCS effect on social cognitive function such as moral judgment. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate the anodal excitation effect of tDCS on moral judgment. We hypothesize that exciting the neural activity of RTPJ with anodal tDCS could enhance the role of intention processing in moral judgment. To test our hypothesis, 18 healthy college students were recruited to participate in the study. All subjects underwent two tDCS sessions (anodal and sham tDCS) in random order and counterbalanced across subjects on 2 separate days with 1 week interval between both stimulations. We applied anodal (1.5mA, 20 min) and sham tDCS (1.5mA, 15 sec) on the RTPJ while subjects were introduced to keep a resting state. After stimulation, subjects read stories in a 2 (intention: negative vs. neutral) × 2 (outcome: negative vs. neutral) design and were asked to make moral judgment about how much blame the actor deserves. We analyzed the moral evaluation score and reaction time by a 2 (intention) × 2 (outcome) × 2 (tDCS: anodal, sham) repeated measures ANOVA. Results showed that actors with negative intentions were judged more morally blameworthy than those with neutral intentions, and actors producing negative outcomes were judged more blameworthy than those causing neutral outcomes. The differences between no harm (neutral intention, neutral outcome) and accidental harm (neutral intention, negative outcome) were larger than that between attempted harm (negative intention, neutral outcome) and successful harm (negative intention, negative outcome). For the reaction time, judgments of negative outcomes were faster than that of neutral outcomes. The responses to attempted and accidental harm were slower than the other two conditions. Most importantly, the moral judgment was slower under anodal tDCS than sham tDCS stimulation, especially under the attempted harm and accidental harm conditions. These results highlight the role of intention processing in moral judgment. People will spend more time integrating the intention and outcome information in order to make normal moral judgment. Furthermore, the present research provides us a better understanding about the role of RTPJ in moral judgment. Using anodal tDCS to excite the neural activity of RTPJ enhanced the capacity of mentalizing in moral judgment, especially in the cases of attempted harm and accidental harm.

Key words: moral judgment, intention, consequence, right temporo-parietal junction (RTPJ), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)